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Ashdoc's Movie Review---dashakriya

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc
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    Movie Critic SPNer

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    This marathi film is based on the marathi novel written by Baba Bhand a few decades ago . The movie villanises the Brahmins who perform the 10th and 13th day rites of deceased Hindus.

    The setting is the holy town of Paithan which was the ancient Pratishthan ; the capital of the Satavahana dynasty that produced the famous emperor Shalivahana also known as Gautamiputra Satkarni . It is situated on the banks of the Godavari river and known as dakshin Kashi . Today it is the centre for 10th and 13th day rituals of dead Hindus .

    The most powerful priest among the Brahmins doing these rites is played by Manoj Joshi. He is shown always going about town with a goon cum bodybuilder behind him . Now this was a novelty for me . Which Brahmin priest performing poojas goes around accompanied by thugs ? I have never seen nor heard of such priests.

    But the Brahmins do more shocking things . They openly rush like street hawkers at people who come to the bank of the river . And they peddle their skills at performing rites hungrily hounding the people in the hope they choose them for performing the rites . All in a shameless bid to earn money.

    During performance of the rites the Brahmins force the persons they are dealing with to cough up more money by claiming that otherwise the souls of the deceased won't be released from their bodies. And the Brahmins come to blows with bamboo sticks over who will do the rites . Manoj Joshi grabs the maximum customers from the clutches of weaker priests who lead a hand to mouth existence.

    All this leads to complaints to the head of the town , played by Dileep Prabhavalkar. He insults Manoj Joshi on an auspicious occasion and Manoj Joshi takes revenge by using strong arm tactics to grab a pie from the money of all depending on the last rites rituals for their livelihood. Yeah, all people including the barbers who shave the deceased's son's head are into fleecing customers but none more than the Brahmins.

    When Dileep Prabhavalkar dies in a road accident Manoj Joshi refuses to perform his dashakriya ( tenth day rites ) due to the insult he suffered. Then Dileep's wife takes the extraordinary step of doing the rites at the hands of a lower caste boy called Bhanya played by Arya Adhav. He is the hero of the film and a parallel track runs about him in the movie . Bhanya has regularly watched the rites due to his job as collector of coins dropped into water during performance of the rites and knows the rites fully. This bold step of using him to perform the rites was applauded by the audience in the theatre.

    The parallel track about Bhanya shows his school antics and friendship with a girl older than him who jokes about marrying him . A large disclaimer about the film not supporting child marriage begins the film due to presence of these jokes . But at the end of the film her track leads to tragedy as she dies in childbirth after marriage with another man .

    Bhanya is so poor that he has to make clothes by clothing which had been on the body of the dead person. His father is a drunkard and drinking is common among even the townsfolk. One poor Brahmin also drinks and smokes due to depression over his wife's illness even though such acts are forbidden to his caste . Bhanya dreams of using money he collects to finance his brother's sewing machine but here too Manoj Joshi's goon grabs the money.

    So Brahmins are the villains everywhere according to movie director Sandeep Patil who is a maratha by caste . But being a Brahmin myself I was not amused. One suspects the hand of the anti Brahmin ( sambhaji brigade ? ) maratha lobby or leftist lobby that is perpetually anti Hindu upper castes in making of the film .

    Acting is good by everyone especially Manoj Joshi and Aryan Adhav as Bhanya . I could see the common people cheering the movie in the theatre, but showing priests who perform rituals resorting to outright thuggery and street violence is nothing short of vilifying the Brahmin community.

    Verdict----decent .

    Two and a half stars out of five .
     
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